As I wipe away tears from my eyes, I am rummaging through what I thought would be just another shipment. Shipment-clothes from Blair. I've gotten in to the new swing of things by going downstairs and getting clothes to take back to school. This occasion was quite different.
Unexpectedly, I was a ball of emotion tonight. I'm no sissy and I usually don't care too much about Blair's leaving and coming because it's sorta the norm. However, this time I care so much about what she is doing and about her heart that I felt a little different tonight as I was stealing all her clothes out of her room. I embraced t-shirts with passionate sayings, pictures, or supporting organizations of good causes. I also looked thru her recent book collection and music collaboration. In her entire hurricane of a room, each item mirrored the heart of Christ. You see, Blair really gets it. She has responded to the call on her life. She is leaving EVERYTHING behind and following him. Jesus said in Matthew 16: 24, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." She is going after him by denying herself completely. She will take a backpack (much heavier than I expected may I add since I saw her have to carry the mis-connected strap thru the airport haha) full of her belongings for 11 months. If you could only see her room and all the things she has left behind, you would be astonished. She's taking up her cross-her responsibility, her call to follow Jesus Christ. Matthew 10:37-39 says, "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." Watching my mom and sister embrace and say good-bye for a while reminded me of this verse here. You see, Jesus wants us to be entirely about Him. He wants our WHOLE life in surrender. He is our top priority. He wants us to love him more than anything else in the whole world. He loves us this way. He demands that we value Him more than our family members. I know Blair loves each one of us so much but what's encouraging to me is that she loves the Father more than anything. She places Him higher than anything in this world. He is her best friend. It's funny how life is sometimes. This Christmas with my family was some of the best times we've ever shared. Each party, bowling, dinner, movie, and gathering meant more to me this year. Call in maturing, prioritizing, or spiritual growth, but I realized this year how much my family means to me. Blair and I got to hang out so much this break that it's strange that this is the year she would leave. It's that supernatural closeness that forms when people know that time is limited. I know this is going to be hard for many of you so here's what the Lord has shown me to offer to you.
FAITH- in the Father.
A preacher on my retreat this week taught on the faith of Abraham and mentioned something I've never read before. If it weren't enough for Abraham to have the faith to agree to take his son to Moriah to be sacrificed- His only son, Isaac-who God promised to bless the nations thru and is now telling him to kill him- look what Abraham said. In Genesis 22:5, "He said to his servants, 'Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then WE will come back to you." He had enough faith to believe that regardless of how, God would keep his promise in blessing the nations through Isaac. If he was going to raise Isaac from the dead, or prepare some other miracle, Abraham had faith that he and his son would both return even though he was planning on killing his son. Faith.
This morning John Schmidt preached on David and Goliath and read the passage from 1 Samuel 17: 32-37, "I have done this to both lions and bears, and I'll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear WILL RESCUE me from this Philistine!" David had faith that His Lord was with him. Faith.
Hebrews 11:6, "...it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him."
2 Corinthians 5:7 "We live by faith, not by sight."
I pray that you would join me in testing out our faith in this season. Having faith that is not altered by hardships or difficulties. One of my favorite quotes from the book, The Shack, is this "Faith does not grow in the house of certainty." I hope that He is testing you and me in trusting Him with our sister in Christ, affirming the fact that He has called her into ministry for the next couple of months and we can rest knowing that He has her in His hands. It is His will. May He show you what having Faith in Him can do for you.
My prayer to Blair:
"First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your FAITH is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God's will the way may be opened for me to come to you. I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong-that is, that you and I may be Mutually encouraged by each other's FAITH."